GARETH VAN ONSELEN: Wonderland: A review of the 1994 ANC manifesto
The ANC of the manifesto — motivated by merit, accountability and compassion— is nothing like today's real-life ANC, in which secrecy, arrogance, deceit and ineptitude drive behaviour
In its time, the ANC’s 1994 manifesto has enjoyed a great many critical reviews. Today, 25 years since it was first published, it remains a staple in the fiction genre. It wove together dreams and truth-telling in equally uplifting and frank fashion, as it effortlessly carried you along to an imagined promised land. But how has its redemptive message held up? Should we consider it a classic?
Written anonymously and released in March 1994, there was, for many years, a great debate in literary circles as to whether the manifesto was in fact fiction at all. It seemed ground in reality. Thus, it garnered a cult-like following among many, who regarded it as no less than the truth and the way. Only in the last decade was it revealed to be a fantasy. And even then, only to some.